Linux for regular users- wasn't, isn't and will never be for them/us

varelgvarelg Banned Posts: 790
A typical Linux horror story of the day- you update to the latest and greatest kernel and upon restart your machine is rendered unbootable. Another Linux horror classic is missing drivers or modules that do not load on boot for something as trivial as wifi adapter. Or the printing horror classic: network printer to which you can ping but not print anything, ever.
These few weeks I encountered them all. My primary laptop is dual boot Windows 7 and CentOS 7. Network printer that I can't use while booted in CentOS 7. I had to manually load a module for a wifi connection on an older laptop, and thank the Divine Creator that I got a network cable lying around so I kept the laptop networked while searching for a solution. And now, with the latest CentOS update, I can't boot into the latest kernel because I am dropped straight to emergency mode. The reason- someone in that precious bundle of joy that is CentOS developers team deemed necessary that the new initramfs should be bloated out of any reasonable proportion so much so that now boot partition should be +1 GB.
We are all tech enthusiasts here and we like to experiment with new and sometimes, for the regular user obscure, things. But I can't imagine regular users that after episodes like these mentioned above would still keep Linux as their main personal computing OS. I can't imagine any of them not dumping Linux for something else that actually works.
I also just can't imagine how Linux advocates tell their tales around AND keep straight faces. How can you propagate something as being a superior solution when even the trivial parts of that solution don't work?!

Comments

  • wd40wd40 CISA, eJPT, MCP, MCTS, CompTIA x 6 Member Posts: 1,017 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I had a similar situation with Kali, after initiating the easy to use update and upgrade commands, I think something related to ati graphics card drivers decided to corrupt the GUI .. after several hours of research I decided not to waste any more time and just re-installed Kali.

    Good thing it was just for testing, no actual data on the machine.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    I don't know. People put up with a lot of crap. Have you seen people's PCs running Windows that are chocful of viruses, malware, adware, browser tool bars, bloatware etc, and they continue to use them? Or the fairly regular stories of people using their integrated graphics for months (or longer) because they were unaware to plug their screen into the gfx card? Or the people installing Windows 10 onto 8 year old Core 2 PCs with 512MB RAM? Or people running computers for ages without the proper graphics or sound driver?

    A lot of people put up with a lot of crap. If Windows did this kind of thing you describe, a lot of people would just get someone else to fix it. It doesn't sound like the hardest thing to fix, just a pain in the...

    Linux, today, is no worse than DOS + Window 3.x in terms of difficulty, and usually a lot less. People had to set jumpers on hardware back in the day, and there were still millions of computers being sold.

    If people really want something simple that just works, they get an iPad or android tablet.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • Mike7Mike7 Member Posts: 1,097 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Just curious, what do you need CentOS for?

    CentOS (which is RHEL) is more of a server OS. If you want a laptop friendly Linux, try desktop distros such as Ubuntu or Mint.
    For experimenting, VMs seems a better option.
  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Member Posts: 1,209 ■■■■■■□□□□
    This ^^^

    Don't bother trying to use server distro as they won't work well right out of the box, and they've been stripped down. You'd expect to do a lot of tweakings. You ought to use Fedora instead if you want the desktop equivalent of CentOS, but tweaking is really inevitable for Linux. There's no doubt Linux is made for power users.
  • varelgvarelg Banned Posts: 790
    True, people put up with a lot of it, but all of the things that OctalDump described a failures of Windows happen on a running machine and a machine that after updates still works. If this system or that system did this same thing Linux is doing- userbase shrinks which makes makers worried and they get around fixing that issue. There's a threshold below which other systems won't go when they fail. Linux doesn't have that threshold. It can fail in a way so spectacular that no other system can match.
    I need CentOS on my primary laptop for few things: sometimes at work, for KVM, for studies for my Red Hat exams... I am not having it onboard on a self-initiative because I bought into the tall tales of Linux advocates. I am not new to Linux, this would be my eleventh year since I installed it for a first time on one of my machines. I know that it fails and is a feeble system. But one would think in ten years that the system grew and matured, that practices of developers and manners of communities that were supposed to support matured. They did not. What one team developed as a solid creation in software, the next team gets around to destroy it via untested updates. When you complain, it ends up being your fault.
    This distro, that distro... Fedora: I never had any luck with that distro in eleven years with Linux, in both hardware and virtual installations. Typos in kernel, file search not working, botched installations, refusal to install VirtualBox AddOns, failure to boot...
    Of course VMs are a better option. It'd be the only sensible option if anyone is curious about Linux. So people see how feeble it is without suffering through actual damage.
  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Member Posts: 1,209 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Have you tried testing the live distros to save you time? I'll have you know that I had the same problem, installing latest Ubuntu on my Macbook Pro (Santa Rosa - late 2007 model) some time last year. I was surprised to see that it doesn't have the drivers to support my Macbook right out of the box anymore. It works well with 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) years ago. Can you try any ubiquitous desktop distro built within 1-2 years after the year your laptop model hit the shelves to see if you're getting better compatibility?
  • capwapcapwap Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I agree, OP. All that money funneled into Microsoft does enable them to put out a much more user-friendly OS than will ever be possible by a group of volunteers.
  • Mike7Mike7 Member Posts: 1,097 ■■■■□□□□□□
    varelg wrote: »
    The reason- someone in that precious bundle of joy that is CentOS developers team deemed necessary that the new initramfs should be bloated out of any reasonable proportion so much so that now boot partition should be +1 GB.

    Guess you have been running CentOS for years. How many boot entries do you have in grub boot menu? Your /boot is full due to all the old kernels.

    We had that problem in my previous job and our /boot is 0.5 GB. However, our NMS send email alerts whenever disk partitions are running out of disk space. Apparently, there is a way to auto remove old kernels and free up disk space. See YUM Delete / Remove Old Kernels on Fedora, CentOS, Red Hat (RHEL) | If Not True Then False
  • Mike7Mike7 Member Posts: 1,097 ■■■■□□□□□□
    varelg wrote: »
    This distro, that distro... Fedora: I never had any luck with that distro in eleven years with Linux, in both hardware and virtual installations. Typos in kernel, file search not working, botched installations, refusal to install VirtualBox AddOns, failure to boot...
    Of course VMs are a better option. It'd be the only sensible option if anyone is curious about Linux. So people see how feeble it is without suffering through actual damage.

    I feel your pain. icon_rolleyes.gif I too had a lot of 'fun' getting hardware to work with Linux in production. That is why I prefer VMs as the hardware is "standard". Each Linux disk image file is a few GB in size, so you can have a few backups. And there is always the "snapshot" feature to roll-back changes.

    Instead of VirtualBox, you may want to try VMware Workstation or free VMware player. With VMware tools installed, you can copy-and-paste text or drag-and-drop files between VM and host OS. The tools also allow you to adjust VM graphics resolution dynamically.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    capwap wrote: »
    I agree, OP. All that money funneled into Microsoft does enable them to put out a much more user-friendly OS than will ever be possible by a group of volunteers.

    I don't think it is so much a case of resources or money, more motivation. The kind of people that develop Linux are more concerned with customisability and tweaking than making a UI that's easy for newbs. If you look at the other extreme for usability - stuff that just works - like iOS and Android, the backend is almost completely hidden from the user. It's like polar opposites. But with that potential to tweak every last facet of the OS, it also means that sometimes the 'average user' is forced to configure areas that normally wouldn't need to be touched. Imagine buying a house and being asked what kind of nails should be used in the wall frames - most people wouldn't have a clue, some people do, and some could talk to you for hours about the pros and cons of all the options. Linux tends to be built to accommodate that last group - a house built by builders for builders, an OS built by devs for devs - an in the process doesn't serve that first group as well as it could.

    Windows on the desktop probably sits near the middle of this configurability/usability spectrum.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • varelgvarelg Banned Posts: 790
    Mike7 wrote: »
    Guess you have been running CentOS for years. How many boot entries do you have in grub boot menu? Your /boot is full due to all the old kernels.

    We had that problem in my previous job and our /boot is 0.5 GB. However, our NMS send email alerts whenever disk partitions are running out of disk space. Apparently, there is a way to auto remove old kernels and free up disk space. See YUM Delete / Remove Old Kernels on Fedora, CentOS, Red Hat (RHEL) | If Not True Then False
    The last thing I would do with a system as feeble as Linux is to wipe out the last successfully bootable kernel. Failures like this one are the reason to keep few older kernels that I know are still working. I'd rather enlarge boot partition then wipe out working kernels.
    On this laptop, I have installed CentOS a bit less than a year ago. So there aren't many kernels on the list. Two Windows (the actual working one and a rescue) and five older CentOS kernels (including the damned one that fails to boot).
  • Mike7Mike7 Member Posts: 1,097 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Anyway, the auto remove feature allows you to configure number of old kernels to keep, so you can revert to old kernel if necessary.

    Noted on boot partition size. Guess I will use at least 1 GB in future.
  • JockVSJockJockVSJock Member Posts: 1,118
    capwap wrote: »
    I agree, OP. All that money funneled into Microsoft does enable them to put out a much more user-friendly OS than will ever be possible by a group of volunteers.

    And don't forget all of the bickering, drama and holier than than thou all of these volunteers also bring with them to the various projects.

    Look at the drama between the evolution from SysVinit to Systemd and I rest my case.

    Because of this, Linux will be looked at with much skepticism because of the way people behave.
    ***Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say*** Example, Beware of CompTIA Certs (Deleted From Google Cached)

    "Its easier to deceive the masses then to convince the masses that they have been deceived."
    -unknown
  • JockVSJockJockVSJock Member Posts: 1,118
    At work, I manage a number of RHEL systems that have Tomcat apps on it (Jira).

    When a new version of Tomcat/Java comes down from RH Satellite, I always ask the software developers if they want to write up a test case or testing plan to test in dev before moving to production and they just tell me to install away.
    ***Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say*** Example, Beware of CompTIA Certs (Deleted From Google Cached)

    "Its easier to deceive the masses then to convince the masses that they have been deceived."
    -unknown
  • JockVSJockJockVSJock Member Posts: 1,118
    varelg wrote: »
    I'd rather enlarge boot partition then wipe out working kernels.

    How are you enlarging your boot partition? I hope you don't have it in an LVM, right?

    How big was the initramfs?

    I'm always setting my /boot between 225 to 250 mb...
    ***Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say*** Example, Beware of CompTIA Certs (Deleted From Google Cached)

    "Its easier to deceive the masses then to convince the masses that they have been deceived."
    -unknown
  • capwapcapwap Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    JockVSJock wrote: »
    And don't forget all of the bickering, drama and holier than than thou all of these volunteers also bring with them to the various projects.

    Look at the drama between the evolution from SysVinit to Systemd and I rest my case.

    Because of this, Linux will be looked at with much skepticism because of the way people behave.

    This has always been a turn-off for me in the Linux community. I've used Linux for a long time (and I also use Microsoft), and I have much respect for the time the volunteers put in to Linux. But this attitude that every person should devote a significant portion of their life and free-time to use Linux is absurd. OS's like Windows and MacOS will always be better for Joe Consumer, whose life is busy with other things and who doesn't feel like dicking around for 9 hours to get a driver to work or a program to compile (assuming Joe Consumer even knows what compile means).
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I've been running Linux on my desktop for years now and these days there are really no problems if you go for one of the desktop distros like Mint. My old lady has been on mint for about a year now and never had a single issue. She's one of the least technical people I know. Use the right tool for the job.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • Kinet1cKinet1c Member Posts: 604 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Ubuntu LTS, done. If you need anything else, virtualise it or stick it on an old piece of crap desktop.
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  • Networking_StudentNetworking_Student Member Posts: 55 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I would have to agree to disagree on this, as my 5 year old nephew can use Debian, and OpenSUSE, and CentOS without problems to play the Linux games I put on them. (To make him learn it)

    And as it stands many companies and schools even are shifting towards Linux over windows.
    Working on my MCSD: Windows Store Apps
    WGU-Software Development Student
  • cwelbercwelber Member Posts: 38 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I think Linux is a great candidate for visualization for this reason. Having an emergency boot CD for critical Linux systems which are not virtualized maybe good too. I think a cool kernel feature would something similar to "last known good boot".
  • varelgvarelg Banned Posts: 790
    I've been running Linux on my desktop for years now and these days there are really no problems if you go for one of the desktop distros like Mint. My old lady has been on mint for about a year now and never had a single issue. She's one of the least technical people I know. Use the right tool for the job.
    A whole year without updates? Interesting.
    I am using the right tool for the job. CentOS for RH exams. If it wasn't for that, I would never consider anything Linux out of virtualization confines.
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